Cistercian BraveArtists: Ben Woods – “The Cliffs of Moher”
November 9, 2020
The cliffs slump to the sea
Heavy-eyed from years chiseled by the breath of frustrated time.
Still chaos underfoot I walk in silence
Bristling grey weeds like barbed wire to tender legs.
Soft mist shrouds the cliffs like a funeral veil
False footholds across the hungry void.
Far below headstrong waves rise; cold Spartan warriors
Throw themselves against the enemy wall to die in defeated roars
Their broken bodies collected again to die again to die again to die again.
Above they seem but toy soldiers
with painted frowns warring unamused God.
The world blinks as my chapped fingers glide
Roughly along the charged grey wire
Fencing oblivious goats chewing longingly at death.
I heard a story once where a man urinated on charged wire and died from electrocution.
I laughed at the idiocy but no more for looking on the cliffs I know
I don’t know what death is.
Blackness or brilliance or pain or peace or joy or violence
But imagination tantalizes.
Two friendly fast forgetful steps
Two simple smooth unresisted twitches
Separate everything and nothing
The brown wood and the black flame.
The world spins as the grass consumes my legs and
Stabs and worms like varicose veins.
Captive mind pendulums back and forth
Trapped by a twisted gypsy drunk on sickening fumes.
Bile rises as my insides writhe like twisted tentacles
In a gordian knot of throbbing panic.
Quickly I could jump from the rock and
Greet nothingness with a smile
As my mother screams my name in agony
Because I will know what no living person knows.
I think I know what life is.
Life moves in bright colors and complexities and
All insignificant, gone with two forgetful footfalls.
The soccer ball but a couple sprinting steps away.
Closing in my mind thinks nothing but the spinning white orb
One more step and the cliffs open before me and
I plunge over the edge and fall
Violently embracing the void as I grasp for God.
The ball rolls out of bounds and the players keep playing as the world collapses
And demons curl warmly around my heart
I don’t know what life is.
Blackness or brilliance or pain or peace or joy or violence or
See the cliff towering over red steaming rotting Death
Another innocent dreaming demon
Gazing wide-eyed up with churning whatever.
Think of the horrible sucking kiss
Dragging him upwards to light and life as he begs to earless Satan
Long twisted claws desperate to scrape
His demon mother laughing his name in joy
A smile etched on her twisted cavernous face.
Two sides of a miserable coin
Alice wails through the looking glass as her
Double faceless tears drip down the shining mirror on the other side
Sobered I remember something as I walk
Dry eyes gazing softly at the skies:
Imagination tantalizes but reality rarely satisfies.